Modern Architecture in Historic Cities: Policy, Planning and by Sebastian Loew

By Sebastian Loew

Illustrating France's good fortune in combining conservation and modernity, this e-book highlights the continuity in French considering and the longstanding function of the French executive as shopper and chief.

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Additional info for Modern Architecture in Historic Cities: Policy, Planning and Building in Contemporary France

Example text

From here on planning was split into two strands: the aménagement du territoire, mainly strategic and closely related to socioeconomic policies; and urbanisme, concerned with physical planning, land use and development and including design control. By the early 1950s, as migrations from rural to urban and peri-urban areas accelerated and as France needed to modernize its economy and its infrastructure, the use of planning schemes, which were implemented rapidly as part of the post-war reconstruction effort and mainly by public agencies, was being challenged as inappropriate; new two-tier plans were advocated to deal with privately induced urban growth.

The ZAD on the other hand was an instrument to fight speculation and to allow local authorities to build land reserves with a view to future development. Both instruments are characteristic of French dirigiste attitudes to urban development, already seen in the nineteenth century: the public sector is given powers and resources to be actively involved in the whole development process. However, as property values continued to rise and speculation continued uncontrolled, a new law was sanctioned in 1967, the Loi d’Orientation Foncière, the main planning act still in force at present, albeit with modifications.

Significantly its aim is not to impose rules or solutions but to encourage reflection. As if to emphasize the links between heritage protection and planning, the Ministère de l’Environnement et du Cadre de Vie was created in 1978. The Direction de l’Aménagement Foncier et de l’Urbanisme (DAFU) was set up within this new ministry with a number of functions held until then by the Direction de l’Architecture of the Ministère de la Culture. Michel d’Ornano, the minister responsible for this move, is reported to have said, ‘I am taking the Greeks to the Romans’.

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